Chad Deaver was trying to catch a big bass when he cast a suspending stickbait to a brush pile on Lake of the Ozarks.
And he ended up with a fish for the wall. Just not the type of fish he was expecting to catch.
Fishing Sunday with friend James Frank in an Anglers in Action bass tournament, Deaver caught a crappie that weighed 3.74 pounds.
“I’ve never had a fish mounted,” said Deaver, 32, who lives in Jefferson City, Mo. “I always think I’ll catch one bigger, so I talk myself out of it.
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“But I don’t think I’ll do much better than this for crappies.”
Deaver found the bass fishing to be tough. But the big crappie he caught turned out to be the topic of conversation at weigh-ins.
“I kept it in my livewell to show everyone,” he said. “They talked me into having it mounted.”
Deaver, who is a roofer, gets plenty of time to fish in the winter and early spring when he’s not working. His favorite bait? A suspending stickbait, which imitates a struggling shad.
“That bait is great for bass,” he said. “But it will catch other types of fish, too.
“I wasn’t that surprised that a big crappie would hit it. I’ve caught a lot of bass out of that brush pile, but crappies use it, too.”
Deaver was fishing near the 5-mile marker at Lake of the Ozarks when he caught the big crappie.
Let the gobbling begin
Too bad we can’t add audio to this report.
Imagine it sounding something like this: Gobble, gobble, gobble.
That’s right, it’s time. The region’s turkey-hunting season begins Wednesday when the Kansas firearms portion for youth and hunters with disabilities opens. The archery-only season will open April 6. Both segments will run through April 14.
The Kansas regular season will open April 15 and continue through May 31.
In Missouri, the youth season will be April 11-12, with the regular season to run April 20-May 10.
The outlook in both states is encouraging. Wildlife biologists say the turkey populations are in good shape.
Conservation Day set
Conservation will be in the spotlight April 2 when a special event is held at the Missouri State Capitol building.
During Conservation Day at the Capitol, the third floor rotunda will be filled with booths representing 25 conservation organizations from across the state. The event, which will run from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., was designed by the Conservation Federation of Missouri to promote and support Missouri’s natural resources and outdoors heritage.
Organizers hope that citizens and legislators tour the affiliate booths to learn about Missouri’s diverse outdoors passions.
Spring is for the birds
Want to learn more about the area’s birds? The Missouri Department of Conservation will offer a series of birding trips this spring at the Burr Oak Woods Nature Center in Blue Springs to help people view and learn more about the Kansas City area’s abundant birds.
The first event will be a guided bird hike April 4 at the nature center. A second outing, called “Birding off the Beaten Path,” will take place May 8. The third outing in the series called “Birding Burr Oak Creek,” will be June 6.
Each of the hikes will be from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and are free. No registration is required and the hikes are open to participants of all ages.
Participants should meet at the nature center for the first hike, at the front gate for the second event and at the Bethany Falls Trail parking lot for the third hike.
Burr Oak Woods is located at 1401 Park Rd., Blue Springs.
Walleyes to get tagged
Fishermen can help fisheries biologists manage Milford Reservoir’s walleye population when they participate in a tagging study by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.
Starting April 1, fisheries workers will tag 500 walleyes with numbered, blue plastic tags that will be inserted near the fish’s dorsal fins. Fishermen who catch a tagged fish and intend to keep it are asked to return the tag along with a completed reporting card, available at the Milford State Park office, lake-area businesses and at ksoutdoors.com.
Fishermen who return a tag will be given a free “Walleye Research Team” cap. Information received from the study will help fisheries biologists learn more about population characteristics and trends in angling harvest.
To reach outdoors editor Brent Frazee, call 816-234-4319 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter.com@fishboybrent.